We’d just driven by some coral bean, Erythrina herbacea, when we spotted these flowers. Though we weren’t going terribly fast I initially thought they were the same until I realized they weren’t. Chris reversed the car and we stopped and looked at them for awhile before deciding we’d have to look them up later.
This woodland plant likes loamy soils and occurs fairly widespread in the southeastern United States. There’s also another species with a white flower in Texas, Spigelia texana. It seems that it will grow in USDA zones 5 to at least 9 so there is wide variety for garden usage. The shape of this flower seems to suggest it would be an excellent hummingbird attractor and gets a lot of good reviews at Dave’s Garden.
It seems that pinkroot has some herbal/medicinal properties that have long been used by the Native Americans for many years. If you’re really interested in the herbal side of this plant, more information is here.
If you are looking for an interesting addition to your native plant garden this looks like the plant to check into!